Offensive Shadows

08 09 Season

Offensive Shadows Poster

By Paul Dunn
Directed by Michael Shamata

September 26 – October 19, 2008

Tarragon Theatre Extraspace

Paul Dunn’s sexy and darkly comic contemporary sequel to A Midsummer Night’s Dream… Artfully blending the romantic heart of Shakespeare’s classic with a modern sensibility, Dunn (High-Gravel-Blind for the Stratford Festival and BOYS for Theatre Direct Canada) explores what happens when Demetrius, Helena, Hermia and Lysander finally wake up. Using an edgy mix of humour and pathos, Offensive Shadows reveals an uncertain future, where magic can’t always save the day.

Offensive Shadows premiered in 2007 at the Tarragon Extra Space as part of the SummerWorks Theatre Festival, where it won the NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award. In its 2007 SummerWorks wrap-up, NOW also listed Offensive Shadows among the Outstanding New Plays, Productions and Ensembles of the festival.

In 2008, again at the Tarragon, Studio 180 remounted the original work along with a new companion piece for Puck, set in a world that no longer believes in fairies. The National Post listed Offensive Shadows among the best new Canadian plays of 2008.

Written by Paul Dunn
Directed by Michael Shamata
Featuring Jessica Greenberg, Mark McGrinder, Jason Mitchell, Kimwun Perehinec, and Andrew Kushnir
Stage Managed by Michael Haltrecht
Set and Costume Designed by John Ferguson
Lighting Designed by Michael Walton
Sound Designed by Michael Laird
Fight Direction by Joel Harris
Production Managed by Nathaniel Kennedy
Education/Outreach Coordination by Kesta Graham
Apprentice Stage Managed by Gillian Lewis
Wardrobe Coordination by Kathleen Johnston

Company

Paul Dunn

Paul Dunn

Playwright

Paul’s plays include Offensive Shadows (winner of the NOW Magazine Audience Choice Award at the Toronto SummerWorks Festival 2007), High-–Gravel-–Blind (which opened the Stratford Festival’s Studio Theatre in 2002 and was recorded for CBC Radio), and BOYS (a one-man show which he performed as part of the Buncha Young Artists Festival at Theatre Direct in 2001). His work has been published in the anthologies “5 Hot Plays,”, “Acting Out”, and “Gay Monologues and Scenes” (Playwrights Canada Press) and in “Canadian Theatre Review.”. He is a member of the 2008 Tarragon Theatre’s Playwrights Unit and a guest instructor at the National Theatre School of Canada. As an actor, he has performed at the Stratford Festival, the National Arts Centre, The Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel Theatre and Theatre New Brunswick. Paul is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.


Michael Shamata

Michael Shamata

Director

For Studio 180: debut. Michael Shamata is the Artistic Director of Victoria’s Belfry Theatre. His past Artistic Director posts have included the Grand Theatre in London, and Theatre New Brunswick. Michael has directed at most of the major theatres across the country, including the Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre Calgary, The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, Soulpepper, Canadian Stage and the Stratford Festival. His productions have received numerous awards, including a Jessie Award in Vancouver for Outstanding Production (Fiddler on the Roof), a Capital City Critics’ Award in Ottawa for Outstanding Production (Kilt), and a Dora Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical (A Little Night Music). A three-time Jessie Award nominee for Outstanding Director, he is also a writer, having been produced in many theatres across Canada, including the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, Young People’s Theatre in Toronto, and the Globe Theatre in Regina, plus Seattle Children’s Theatre, and, upcoming, the East-West Theatre in Shanghai.


Jessica Greenberg

Helena

For Studio 180: Offensive Shadows (2007) & The Passion of the Chris. Jessica (she/her) is an actor and artist educator who has worked on and off stage with Studio 180 since 2004. As an actor, she has appeared in our productions of Indecent, King Charles III, NSFW, Cock, Our Class, Parade, Blackbird, Offensive Shadows and The Passion of the Chris. As the Director of Youth and Community Engagement, Jessica creates our production study guides and lobby exhibits, runs our Studio 180 IN CLASS and Beyond The Stage programs, and contributes to Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT and AT HOME programming. She has acted on stages across Canada and the United States including Canadian Stage, Crow’s Theatre, Project: Humanity, Magnus Theatre, YPT, The Citadel, MTYP, Passe Muraille, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Theatre New Brunswick, Willow Cabin Theatre and Theatreworks/USA. She has appeared on The Handmaid’s Tale, Murdoch Mysteries and Being Erica as well as the animated series Fish ‘n Chips. Jessica has more than 20 years of experience as a guest artist and educator with children and youth of all ages from preschool to post-secondary, was Education Coordinator for ARCfest: Toronto’s Human Rights Arts Festival, and is the Director of Child Engagement for the Child-ish Collective. She holds an Honours BA in political science and women’s studies from McGill University and completed her classical acting training at Circle in the Square Theatre School in New York and as an apprentice at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky.


Mark McGrinder

Mark McGrinder

Lysander

For Studio 180: Offensive Shadows (2007), Stuff Happens, Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris & The Laramie Project. For Studio 180: The Laramie Project, Stuff Happens, Our Class, Parade, Clybourne Park, You Will Remember Me and, most recently, The Nether. Mark is a member of Studio 180’s Core Artistic Team and co-ordinates the Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program. He also adapted and directed Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for the company and has assistant directed productions of Blackbird, God of Carnage and The Laramie Project 10th Anniversary reading. Mark was a member of the Shaw Festival’s acting ensemble for 5 seasons and performed in several reviews with The Second City’s National Touring Company. Film and television credits include; Spotlight, Remedy, Murdoch Mysteries and Mayday.


Jason Mitchell

Jason Mitchell

Demetrius

For Studio 180: debut. Originally from British Columbia, Jason is an actor and writer who now makes his home in Toronto. Selected theatre credits include ‘Mr. Lawson’ in Not Now Darling at the Drayton Festival Theatre and King’s Wharf Theatre; ‘Theseus’ in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Festival of Classics in Oakville; and three seasons at the Stratford Festival, where favourites included ‘Charles the Dauphin’ in Henry VI Part 1, ‘King Louis XI’ in Henry VI Part 2 and ‘Menno Miller’ in Quiet in the Land, as well as roles in The Birds, Two Noble Kinsmen, Henry V, Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice. He was also a member of the 2000  Stratford Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training. Other credits include A  Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, and All’s Well That Ends Well (Bard on the Beach), Two Ships Passing (Western Canada Theatre), and Rumours of Our Death (Epicentre Theatre). Jason holds a BFA with distinction in Theatre from the University of  Victoria.


Perehinec

Kimwun Perehinec

Hermia

For Studio 180: Offensive Shadows (2007), Arab-Israeli Cookbook, The Passion of the Chris & The Laramie Project. Kimwun is a co-founder, artist educator and member of the Core Artistic Team for Studio 180. Other selected credits include Frankenstein’s BoyMadhouse VariationsSideshow of the Damned (Eldritch Theatre); Chasing Margaret Flatwood (Theatre Awakening); Like Wolves (GCTC); Wrecked (Roseneath Theatre); This Is About the Push (Seventh Stage); Mourning Dove (Ark Collective); Vanities (Theatre in Port); Spain (Absit Omen); Phae (Collective Architecture); High-Gravel-BlindShadowsWalk Right Up (Stratford Festival). Film and TV credits include recurring roles on the TMN series The Line and the web series B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye; and Puppets Who KillNikita and Thieves. Kimwun has been nominated for two Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Ensemble) and is a graduate of the actor training program at George Brown College.


Andrew Kushnir

Andrew Kushnir

Puck

For Studio 180: debut. Andrew is an actor, playwright and creative director of Project: Humanity (projecthumanity.ca). As a performer, he has worked with companies that include Canadian Stage (The Middle PlaceSweeney ToddHairA Midsummer Night’s Dream), Catalyst Theatre (Frankenstein), Theatre Calgary (Beyond Eden) and Outside The March/Convergence/Sheep No Wool (Passion Play). He is a co-creator of The Gay Heritage Project, which premiered at Buddies in Bad Times in November 2013. Andrew is playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre and in residency at The Theatre Centre, developing a new verbatim piece called Small Axe. His award-winning play about youth homelessness, The Middle Place, premiered in 2011 and was then toured nationally by Project: Humanity. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and a 2013 recipient of their Alumni Horizon Award.


Michael Haltrecht

Michael Haltrecht

Stage Manager

For Studio 180: Offensive Shadows (2007) & The Laramie Project (2004). Michael’s recent theatre credits include Offensive Shadows (Summerworks/O7), Welcome to Eden: Population 2 (Toronto Fringe/06, SM); Hair (CanStageCanadian Stage Company, Apprentice SM); Storm Warning (Out of the Norm, SM); Gypsy, Journey’s End, and Pasque Flower (Shaw Festival, Apprentice SM); The Laramie Project (Studio 180, SM); Unbecoming (SummerWorks, SM); La Fille du Regiment, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Otello (Opera Ontario, Apprentice SM). Michael has worked for the Toronto, Dubai, Sundance, and HotDocs Film Festivals and develops Stage Management computer software. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo Michael (Psychology and Drama).


John Ferguson

John Ferguson

Set and Costume Designer

For Studio 180: debut. John is a set and costume designer, who designed for many of the major companies across Canada. He studied at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal, and went on to be Resident Designer for Theatre Calgary, Neptune Theatre, the National Arts Centre and Canadian Stage. He also designed for the Grand Theatre, London, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Centaur Theatre, and Belfry Theatre. Between 1976 and 2004, Ferguson designed twenty productions for the Stratford Festival (including Sharon Pollock’s One Tiger to a Hill and Walsh, and Anne Chislett’s Quiet in the Land). For the Shaw Festival he designed the production of War and Peace; for the Edwin Mirvish company he designed the set for Tomson Highway’s Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing; for the National Arts Centre in collaboration with NAC English Theatre artistic director John Wood he designed opulent sets and costumes for Camino Real (1978) and for Hamlet (1979), which toured across Canada; and set designs for A History of the American Film (1979) and The Oresteia (1983). In 2001, he designed Soulpepper Theatre Company’s production of A Christmas Carol. He was the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, Montreal’s Masques Award, Vancouver’s Jessie Richardson Award and Stratford’s Tyrone Guthrie Award.


Michael Walton

Michael Walton

Lighting Designer

For Studio 180: debut. Michael Walton is a lighting designer currently based in Stratford, Ontario. Michael’s design work is heavily inspired by the unseen. What is the imagined world in the theatre trying to convey? How does light enhance, excite and support the event? “Event” can be translated into many forms including plays, musical scores, librettos, products, songs, or presentations. The function is the same and what is important is that the audience feels the message. Michael’s draws inspiration from many of the elements that surround us. The reflected light off a pond, the smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of fingers on a fret board, or the feel of a cool breeze on a sun burn. Each has the power to inform and inspire imagery and atmosphere. Many artist inspirations include Newfoundland painter Christopher Pratt and his use of simple lines and restrained colour, Pink Floyd’s multi layered sound and provocative poetry, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his focus on simplicity, strength and rhythm. Michael was born in Winnipeg, MB and moved to Toronto in 2005 and then to Stratford in 2009. He lives with his wife Tara and their dogs Murphy and Oscar.


Michael Laird

Michael Laird

Sound Designer

For Studio 180: Stuff Happens. Selected Sound Design credits: AnnieCinderellaA Year with Frog and ToadThe Princess and the HandmaidenYou’re a Good Man, Charlie BrownThe Wizard of Oz (YPT); Seussical (YPT/Citadel Theatre); Spamalot!Sound of MusicLittle Women (Citadel Theatre); Great ExpectationsBarber of Seville (Soulpepper); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Legally Blonde (Neptune Theatre); Speaking in TonguesThrough the LeavesFestenMarion Bridge (Company Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Canadian Stage); A Synonym for Love (Volcano Theatre); Evil Dead: The Musical (Off B’way); and A Beautiful View (da da kamera).


Joel Harris

Joel Harris

Fight Director

For Studio 180: Offensive Shadows (2007). Joel is a University of Waterloo graduate who has worked for the past ten years as a fight choreographer and professional stuntman. He has worked in such theatres as The Stratford Festival, The Shaw Festival, Guthrie Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille, Tarragon, YPT, Factory Theatre, Opera Ontario and the Canadian Opera Company. Film and Television credits include Bulletproof Monk, The Recruit, Crime Spree, Against the Ropes, Resident Evil, Mutant X, Tarzan, Dawn of the Dead, The Red Green Show and Incredible Hulk.


Nathaniel Kennedy

Nathaniel Kennedy

Production Manager

For Studio 180: debut. Nathaniel has worked in theatre production across Canada and internationally. Most recently he has worked with Tarragon Theatre, Necessary Angel and Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People. Nathaniel is currently a Special Events Supervisor for the City of Toronto.


Kesta Graham

Kesta Graham

Education/Outreach Coordinator

Gillian Lewis

Gillian Lewis

Apprentice Stage Manager

Kathleen Johnston

Wardrobe Coordinator

Gallery

Andrew Kushnir in PUCK. Photos by John Karastamatis.
Mark McGrinder and Jessica Greenberg in Offensive Shadows. Photos by John Karastamatis.
The cast in Offensive Shadows. Photos by John Karastamatis.
Jason Mitchell and Mark McGrinder in Offensive Shadows. Photos by John Karastamatis.
Jason Mitchell and Kimwun Perehinec in Offensive Shadows. Photos by John Karastamatis.

Reviews

Performance and direction are pitch-perfect.

National Post

The cast is terrific, turning from comedy to heartbreak in a convincing moment.

CBC Radio

Highly recommended… a clever, imaginative romp that is augmented by a particularly likeable and capable cast.

Toronto Star

The show’s a winner, both in its writing and its performance.

NOW Magazine NNNN

Paul Dunn’s witty script is engaging and emotionally satisfying.

Torontoist.com

Paul Dunn’s bleak, wildly funny little comedy sports an articulate understanding of the original Shakespearean characters as he transplants them into a contemporary milieu ripe with camping gear, bonfires and bikinis… Beautifully played with comic finesse and great physical agility…. Michael Shamata’s direction is fast-paced and physically thrilling.

Xtra Magazine

A delightful romp in two acts, under the direction of Michael Shamata, who quite wisely keeps things simple… focusing his and our attention on the expert performers at the heart of his tale.

Toronto Sun